NEW YORK – The cent o penny, known as the smallest coin in the country, is also a symbol of good fortune.
So the next time you have one in your hands take a closer look at it because you may find yourself in for a surprise. On the tiny coin there may be an even smaller message engraved on the edge. But that little message has a great meaning.
Brooklyn artist Jill Magid recorded at 120,000 cents or pennies new year 2020 the phrase: “The body was already so fragile.”
Jill said the message is supposed to reflect the state of the country at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and how much worse things got. The artist also said that the word “body” represents both the human body and the economic body.
“When the pandemic happened, all the cracks in the system became more apparent,” Magid said. “120,000 equals $ 1,200, which is the stimulus check given by the government.”
So why was the penny chosen?
“There are like these images and objects of hope that we then throw into the wishing wells and make our dreams take away. So are these beautiful poetic objects,” said Justine Ludwig, who was in charge of the project called “Tender.” He said the name comes from the world is “at a time when we really need more tenderness, more kindness, a reminder of our own humanity.”
Magid is distributing the engraved pennies from her studio in Brooklyn, as well as spending them at warehouses throughout the city. She calls her piece a scattered monument: instead of a monument, it is made up of tiny pieces that spread out, just like the coronavirus itself.
He said his goal would be for whoever finds one to think about the meaning and at this moment in history, and then spend it so someone else can do the same.
“I hope they circulate for a long time,” Magid said. “Pennies circulate for about 40 years in general, so they become kind of a mark of this moment.”